Match fixer jailed 48 months for trying to fix SEA Games match

Former Timor Leste footballer Moises Natalino de Jesus, Singaporean Rajendran Kurusamy and his associate, Indonesian national Nasiruddin, leaving the State Courts in a van on May 30, 2015.
Former Timor Leste footballer Moises Natalino de Jesus, Singaporean Rajendran Kurusamy and his associate, Indonesian national Nasiruddin, leaving the State Courts in a van on May 30, 2015.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A supervisor in a construction firm was sentenced to four years' jail on Monday for agreei ng to bribe a Timor Leste soccer official and to offer bribes to players. This was to induce the players to lose a South-East Asian (SEA) Games match against Malaysia earlier this year.

Singaporean Rajendran R. Kurusamy pleaded guilty to two of three charges.

The 55-year-old, described as Singapore's most prolific match fixer in terms of previous convictions, admitted to scheming with Moises Natalino De Jesus, 31, and Nasiruddin, a 52-year-old Indonesian, to agreeing to give $15,000 to Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes, 49, a technical director of the Timor Leste Football Federation.

This was at a meeting at the Orchid Country Club on May 28 this year.

Rajendran also admitted to being a party to the conspiracy with Moises, Nasiruddin and Orlando to offer bribes to at least seven Timor Lesteplayersin exchange for losing the match against Malaysia, which was to be played two days later.

The match between Timor Leste and Malaysia ended in 1-0 in favour of Malaysia.

The court heard that Rajendran had conspired with the others to fix the Timor Leste football team to lose by a certain number of goals.

His plan was for the country to withstand the first 20 minutes without conceding a goal and eventually lose the game to Malaysia by a few goals.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau arrested him and his co-conspirators hours after the meeting at the country club.

Rajedran has been involved in fixing football matches both in Singapore and Malaysia.

In Singapore, he was involved in fixing several S-League matches and was convicted in 1997 and 1998. In 1997, he was jailed for 18 months and fined $300,000; in 1998 he was jailed nine months and fined $200,000.

Nasiruddin, a former referee with the football governing body in Indonesia, was sentenced to 30 months' jail in July for trying to fix the match, while the trial of Moises and Orlando is scheduled for next month.

Rajendran, whose sentence was backdated to May 30, could have been fined up to $100,000 and jailed for up to five years on each charge.